The Eminence Warriors’ four-game winning streak came to an end on Feb. 25 as the Owen County Rebels got a dominating performance from their super sophomore Carson Williams to beat the Warriors 68-53. It was also the end of the season for the Warriors as the loss came in the semifinals of the 31st district tournament.
Warriors’ guard Jalen Dixie equaled Williams’ point output but his teammates could not keep pace as the Rebels also got strong performances from several other players including Hunter Trenary, who had 14 points, and Jarrod Ball with eight points.
For the Warriors, Mitchell Golden had eight points but no one else had more than four points.
Williams established his dominance early by scoring Owen County’s first eleven points while the Warriors scored just four in the same stretch. But Eminence rallied late in the period and pulled to within one point at 11-10 on two Dixie free throws with a minute left.
Owen County’s Trenary scored the last four points of the period to give the Rebels a five-point lead.
The Rebels opened the second period with a 7-2 run to increase the lead to 10 points with 5:25 left. After an Eminence timeout the teams traded baskets until Dixie hit a 3-pointer to make it 27-19 and then Golden scored on a put back to make it a six–point game. It would be as close as the Warriors would get the rest of the way as Owen County scored six in a row to extend the lead back to 11 points with 28 seconds left in the half.
Coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Rebels quickly opened the lead to 17 points with a 10-3 run that ended when Dixie hit a layup with 5:03 left in the third period.
The Warriors never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way as Owen County took care of the basketball and pounded the Warriors on the boards to maintain their lead.
“We got some stops but their offensive rebounding killed us in the second and third period especially,” Coach Chris Nethery said. “We had too much standing around and watching on offense. It was like we were waiting for somebody else to make the play. I was disappointed because we had been doing better at getting more people involved in the offense.”
Nethery reflected on what turned out to be a disappointing season for the Warriors.
“Everybody is a little disappointed with our record (7-21) this year,” Nethery said. “We made a little run at the end of the year. To win you have to get the 50-50 balls and the rebounds and do the little things that are effort plays. It took us a while to figure that out.
“Against a team like Owen County you have to do that. They’ve won the district three years in a row now. I thought we sat and watched a lot in this game.”
Nethery closed his comments with words about the senior class.
“They’ve been around the program the whole time,” he said. “They were a part of getting to the region last year. They have definitely been a large part of our program.”